Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon: International Title #2

Author: Mini Grey
Illustrator: Mini Grey
Year Published: 2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Awards: Kate Greenaway Medal, Nestle Children's Book Prize Bronze Award

What did you like/dislike about the book?
Mini Grey's book, The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, is a fractured fairy tale, loosely based upon the children's verse "Hey Diddle Diddle."  It is told from the perspective of the Spoon.  After Dish and Spoon lose all their money, they are forced to rob a bank by mobsters.  After their release from prison, they find the world is a new place.

My favorite detail of the book is the charming plot.  Grey does an excellent job of taking familiar characters and creating a new world around them.  I also enjoy the scrapbook-style illustrations.  There are cheeky details in each picture that can definitely induce chuckles.

There was nothing about this book I did not like.

This book is appropriate for all ages of readers.  It can be used to discuss fractured fairy tales, personification, and character development.

What in your life would have influenced this reaction/response?
My students and I have always enjoyed fractured fairy tales because they put a fresh spin on familiar tales.  The characters of Dish and Spoon are well-developed enough that one feels sorry for them when they are imprisoned.  Strong characters are very important to me in a story.

How does this book compare to similar books/author’s other books?
Grey's other titles include additional fractured fairy tales.  Her books tend to personify inanimate objects and/or animals.  In each book, a similar bold illustration style is used.  Aside from a few different spellings, such as colour, there was no difference in this book and American-published books.

What did I learn about children’s literature from this book?
Fractured fairy tales can be just as enjoyable as the original version of the stories.  Students can learn the finer points of writing through children's books, especially those in which they are entertained.

Other titles by this author include:

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